Graham's Blog

Who is fossil hunter Mary Anning?

Mary Anning’s discoveries of fossils along the coast of Dorset brought home the fact that southern England once was filled with giant monsters more strange and terrible than the wildest dream.

Merlins over Everest

A Supermarine Spitfire flew over Mount Everest in May, 1945. Then on 16 June another Merlin-powered aircraft, a Mosquito, made an “accidental” flight over Everest.

Cost of the Merlin engine

When I was writing my book about the Rolls-Royce Merlin I discovered some amazing facts. There has never been another engine more thoroughly, continuously, aggressively and successfully developed than the Merlin.

Which planes used the Merlin engine?

The Merlin engine was used in over forty aircraft during World War Two but it is mostly associated with the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, Avro Lancaster bomber and the de Havilland Mosquito.

How many cylinders were in a Merlin?

The Merlin was a petrol engine, which in a car or an aeroplane has to have many cylinders to make it run smoothly and powerfully. A single cylinder is OK for a small bike, and you can hear how rough they are! The Merlin had 12 cylinders.

11 Fascinating Lancaster Bomber Facts

1. The Second World War was the first war won in the air, and the Avro Lancaster was Britain’s premier bomber.  Avro developed the Lancaster to meet the UK’s wartime need for a larger bomber that could go further and carry a larger payload. It was a reply to the...

Did George Mallory Reach The Summit of Everest First?

Many people wonder if Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were really the first to climb Everest. I went on nine expeditions to Mount Everest over 21 years to find the truth about another possibility: George Mallory. Was George Mallory the first to climb Everest with...

My sighting of Yeti footprints

The footprints in the snow were large, bigger than a human’s, with clearly defined toes. There was no sign of claw-marks. These prints looked as though they had been made only minutes before we arrived. I shivered and glanced around the deserted valley. We were the...